Leap date: February 7, 1971
Story by: John Hill & Scott Speherd
Teleplay by : Donald P. Bellisario & Scott Shepard
Directed by: Michael Zinberg
Original Air date: December 13, 1989
This time: Sam leaps into a graveyard. Looking around, a woman appears as if out of nowhere. She is Troian, a woman who believes her deceased husband, Julian, is trying to communicate with her. To prove it she hired Dr. Timothy Mintz, who Sam just leaped into.
Back at the family mansion, the housekeeper, Miss Stolz, makes it clear she does not like Sam. Troian’s brother, Jimmy, gives Sam a similarly icy reception, but more so thinking that he is feeding into her insanity and scamming her.
Al arrives and is creeped out by the setting. The house has a history of … oddities. Troian was a successful author, but after her husband died three years ago, she never got over it. Troian will drown herself in the same lake as Julian which Sam must prevent.
Troian wakes up to strange sounds and wet footprints in her bedroom. Following them, she goes to Julian’s study. There, she finds a painting she did for her husband’s last book. A neat trick since she threw it into the lake.
Mysterious paintings appear drawing Troian to the mausoleum where an earthquake hits, though Sam rescues her. In a visit to the remains of Julian, Sam finds a cassette player hooked up to a radio transmitter. Playing it produces a sound so high-pitched that only dogs can hear it, along with some women. Troian is not crazy; the voices are real.
It turns out Jimmy has been trying to get Troian to die for an insurance scheme. The two struggle, but Sam shows up to save Troian. During the struggle, three bodies ride up from the lake seemingly freed during the earthquake. They are Julian, but also a former wife and butler who drowned over a hundred years ago while they were cheating. The wife bears a more than striking resemblance to Miss Stolz who fades away. Sam leaps …
… into a kegger.
Stop talking to yourself: Sam compares leaping in to the impossible dream of Don Quixote.
Only Sam can see and hear: Al plays both Fox Mulder, believing in ghosts and Dana Scully, trying to find a logical explanation. Also, Troian and Jimmy can both hear him.
Mirror images that were not his own: While Jimmy and Troian argue over credentials, Sam looks at Dr. Mintz in the mirror.
Brush with history: Sam makes a passing reference to Indiana Jones, and though Troian in a writer, she probably wasn’t involved in the creation of the franchise.
It’s a science project: Jimmy is established as a techie, fixing the TV and using the radio transmitter to rig cassette tapes. The dog howls heard might be warnings of the earthquake.
Let’s up the rating: Sam teases Al about his proclivities in the mausoleum.
One more time: “I thought I could drive you to the funny farm, but I can see that’s not going to happen. You see I got this IOU to these bad dudes in Vegas.”
Jimmy ripping off the proverbial Scooby Do mask.
The Rainbow Treknection: Carolyn Seymour played a pair of Romulans (Toerth and Taris) along with Mirasta Yale. She has had quite the storied history on screen.
Trivial Matters: There are some really big cameos in this. Series creator Donald P. Bellisario is Sam’s mirror image and writer Paul Brown is one of the bodies in the end.
The biggest guest in this episode is played by Bellisario’s then wife and writer of the series, Deborah Pratt.
Put right what once went wrong: “What happened, the storm knocked the power out?” “No, it was the Boogeyman.” I am a fan of Deborah Pratt the writer. She has written my favorite hour thus far, The Color of Truth, and has almost made a name for herself as the social justice queen with What Price Gloria? and So Help Me God. Robert Picardo wrote the Doctor centric Life Line episode and Jonathan Frakes cut his teeth directing several episodes of Trek, even through to this day. One of his earliest challenges was Cause and Effect which was a mess to put together even for a full-time director. Roxann Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeil are other 'directorial graduates' of Trek.
Deborah Pratt is not quite as successful. She has a history of acting with a stint on Magnum P.I. and Airwolf (both Bellisario productions), but she confuses despondent for bland. So much of this is a slog to go through and it is not helped by Pratt. Other than a scene where she is somewhat jovial, it is just boring to watch. She is grieving, but more goes through the motions more than anything else.
It is pretty obvious that Jimmy is the one behind everything. She is not doing it to herself and Stoltz is not either. Having a pool of three suspects including the victim is not that suspenseful with these clues around. Seymour is great at being mysterious and creepy, but does not go much beyond that, though she does freak out Sam and Al. The script does not really do any favors. If not for needing a quote for this review, I would not really remember much.
It is not all bad. There is a moment where Al asks to be centered on Sam and he moves a few feet in the same shot as Sam rushes in. He is more spooked than Sam knowing the history of the house and he has a fun moment where Sam teases him about proclivities, but it does not salvage the episode.
The worst hour of the series thus far.